Chelsea, Michigan – 8 June 2023
Below is a statement by Dave Quintana:
Over the past while, I have been in consultation with the Servants of the Word elders and some Sword of the Spirit leaders, including at the recent SOS International Assembly. It has become clear to me that one way to express how seriously we as the Servants of the Word are taking the current situation would be for me to resign as Presiding Elder. Thus, effective immediately, I am resigning. The elders of the Servants of the Word have asked David Mijares, our Presiding Elder-elect, to begin serving as our Presiding Elder. David was elected last August and began his leadership transition process soon afterward. David’s excellent leadership will guide us moving forward and help us determine the steps we need to take in the season ahead. It has been a privilege for me to serve the Lord and the brothers, and I look forward to continuing to serve as the Lord leads.
Chelsea, Michigan – 2 September 2021
The following brothers made a Lifelong Commitment to the Servants of the Word: Kenneth Carandang from the Philippines, Adrian Menezes from India, Will Cannon from the US, Guillermo Camillo from the Dominican Republic and Paul Codouni from Lebanon.
Chelsea, Michigan – 18 May 2023
In late March 2023, Servants of the Word announced another allegation made against Ed Conlin involving misconduct with a minor. Following our announcement, the Servants of the Word and Ed Conlin together initiated a termination process; as the conclusion to this process, Ed has requested termination from the Servants of the Word. Effective May 18, 2023, Ed Conlin’s membership in Servants of the Word has been terminated. He is no longer a member of the Servants of the Word or the Sword of the Spirit.
Chelsea, Michigan – 29 March 2023
It is with great sadness that we inform you of a misconduct allegation that has recently come to our attention involving one of our members, Ed Conlin. This new allegation against Ed Conlin accuses him of sexual conduct with a minor in North America. We have taken this allegation seriously. In alignment with our Safeguarding Policies we promptly reported the allegation to law enforcement. We will fully cooperate with any investigation that may be conducted by such authorities.
Based upon this new complaint, Ed Conlin has been placed on administrative leave by the Servants of the Word and is suspended indefinitely from any participation in the Sword of the Spirit. This means that Ed Conlin may not attend any Sword of the Spirit functions, will not serve in any ministry of any kind in the Servants of the Word or the Sword of the Spirit, nor visit homes of or socialize with families either within or outside the Sword of the Spirit.We have also urged that all SOS communities in North America refrain from singing Ed Conlin songs during gatherings and other common times of worship.
Given that this matter has been referred to proper legal authorities, we are limited in what we can say. When we have more information that we are permitted to share, we will pass it along immediately.
We urge and encourage anyone who is aware of any other situations of concern or other allegations of abuse to please contact the appropriate authorities and/or our Child Protection Officer Dan Rinke [Phone: (734) 475-3550 ext. 250; email: firstname.lastname@example.org] promptly.
For now, we ask your earnest prayers for all of those involved in this difficult situation. Let us pray for all those who have suffered and continue to suffer from the scourge of sexual abuse in our midst and in our broader society.
Chelsea Michigan – 15 April 2022
On April 13, 2022, Jamie Treadwell was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, 14-days jail time (which he already served) and to be on the Public Sex Offender Registry. Our hearts continue to go out to all who have been harmed by his actions and we pray that these proceedings coming to a conclusion will be of help and comfort for them.
Chelsea Michigan – 01 March 2022
On Monday, February 28, 2022, former Servants of the Word member Jamie
Treadwell entered a plea of no contest to one count of attempted Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd degree. Our hearts go out to all who have been harmed by his actions. We pray that these proceedings give them some solace.
We also want to thank law enforcement and the district attorney’s office for the care and diligence they have shown throughout this investigation. The safety and well-being of children in our care has always been a high priority and we deeply regret the harm Mr. Treadwell’s actions have caused. Though policies were in place, since learning of the behavior of Mr. Treadwell, we initiated a careful review of our child protection policies under the guidance of Praesidium, a child protection consultant, and instituted additional child protection training for all members.
A member of Servants of the Word since 1987, Mr. Treadwell ended all association with our organization in December 2019.
If you have any child protection concerns, questions, or information, please contact the authorities directly, and/or contact us at email@example.com, or call (734) 475-3550, extension 250. For media queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Servants of the Word is an international, ecumenical brotherhood of Christian men who have made traditional promises of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Established in 1971 with headquarters in Chelsea, Michigan, we have roughly 65 permanent members living in our houses in six countries. We live communally, sharing all finances and possessions. While our members work in many fields, including engineering, academia, software programming, psychiatry, counseling, and youth work, we share the mission of bringing Christian teaching to young people and adults and in assisting Christian communities around the world.
Chelsea, Michigan – 11 May 2020
Amended 13 May 2020
Amended 19 May 2020
It is with great concern and sorrow for those affected that we report on Monday, May 11, 2020, that former Servants of the Word member Jamie Treadwell was arraigned on two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.
We place a high priority on the safety and well-being of every child in our care; we deeply regret the harm that his actions may have caused to children, their families, and our community. We have been fully cooperating with those investigating this matter and will continue to do so. We encourage anyone with any pertinent information about Mr. Treadwell’s activities to please contact the police and/or us.
A member of Servants of the Word since 1987, Mr. Treadwell ended all association with the organization in December 2019. As a member of the Servants of the Word he held a variety of service roles and occupations in the UK from 1986 to 2015, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 2015 to 2016.
In late September 2016 two Michigan families raised allegations about Mr. Treadwell’s behavior with their young daughters. We put him on administrative leave, changed his residence to our rural headquarters in Chelsea, Michigan, and restricted his activities. Police investigated the allegations, but no charges were filed at that time.
In early November Mr. Treadwell requested to begin a process to terminate his membership. His membership was terminated on December 15, 2019 and the circumstances around it were announced on our website.
Servants of the Word is an international, ecumenical brotherhood of Christian men who have made traditional promises of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Established in 1971 with headquarters in Chelsea, Michigan, we have roughly 60 permanent members living in our houses in 6 countries. We live communally, sharing all finances and possessions. While our members work in many fields, including engineering, academia, software programming, psychiatry, counselling and youth work, we share the mission of bringing Christian teaching to young people and adults and in assisting Christian communities around the world.
We deeply regret the distress that Mr. Treadwell’s actions have caused.
If you have any child protection concerns please contact the authorities directly or you can contact us at email@example.com or call (734) 475-3550 x250. For media queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (734) 215-7525 with any additional questions.
Chelsea, Michigan – 24 April 2020
I hope and pray that this will find you doing well, having a blessed Easter season and staying safe and virus-free. I imagine that your experience of these days, like my own, is both troubling and perplexing. My prayer is that somehow the current situation leads to people turning to God in a fuller, more whole-hearted way.
The last time many of you heard from us was with the news of Jamie Treadwell having left us amidst allegations of inappropriate behavior with children. Some of you are aware that, following Jamie’s departure and a program broadcast on Michigan Radio, the name of Ed Conlin was raised in connection with serious events which occurred two decades ago in West Belfast. They led to his dismissal from the youth organization that he worked for at that time. We want you to know that we are working on this situation, including engaging the aggrieved parties and others involved as best as we are able to at this time during lockdown, and we will communicate more about this in the future.
We regret profoundly the harm, trouble and shame that this situation has brought and we sincerely solicit your prayers and help as we endeavor to regain your confidence and trust. Needless to say, this has been an extremely difficult time for us and has led to a lot of soul searching by the Servants of the Word.
A sober assessment of these situations has revealed areas for improvement in our safeguarding policies and procedures for brothers working with youth and children. To this end, we are committed to learning what we need to and to taking new measures or accomplishing ones that we already had in process.
I would like to share with you some of the first steps we have taken toward redressing the situation:
- We will continue our efforts to reach out to aggrieved parties in whatever ways seem appropriate.
- We have updated our Child Protection Policy (CPP) and it is now available in English and in Spanish.
- We have begun the process of training all of our brothers in the revised CPP. The first meeting in North America was attended by 37 brothers and was held on 29th February 2020. The next North American session was tentatively scheduled for 18th April 2020, but had to be cancelled because of the virus. We will reschedule as soon as possible. The Asian region also had their first session a month ago.
- Each region of the Servants of the Word will establish an external Review Board. These boards will examine, review and advise on any future child protection issue or other allegation made regarding the Servants of the Word or one of its brothers. It will also review the implementation of our revised CPP and advise on future revisions. It will take some time to put these Review Boards in place and we will keep you informed as this process progresses.
- The Sword of the Spirit, in conjunction with the Servants of the Word, is commissioning an independent review of our handling of child protection cases over the past years.
- We are in the process of retaining “Praesidium” a premiere external organization in the US which consults with Religious Congregations on Child Protection, to help us review our CPP and standard operating procedures.
- We are in the process of setting up a dedicated phone number that people can call if they have concerns about any of our brothers.
Let me conclude by saying that the safety of the children and youth entrusted to us continues to be of paramount importance to us and we want to make sure that everyone involved experiences that. We hope these measures will be the beginning of a process of rebuilding trust among all of you whom we serve. We will keep you informed as we take the next steps.
I welcome any questions, feedback or input you may have; we are keenly aware of the need for help to get this area right. Thank you for your help and your prayers.
Your brother in Christ,
Chelsea, Michigan – 31 January 2020
Dear friends of the Servants of the Word,
Some of you may have listened to and been troubled by an investigative report about Jamie Treadwell on a local Michigan radio program named “Stateside.” The report deals with the disturbing details surrounding Jamie’s inappropriate behavior with the children of two Michigan families. We do deeply regret the distress which has been caused and any harm that has been done to individuals and families.
While the report is generally factual we do want to point out several important inaccuracies.
The investigative report states that leaders of the Servants of the Word would not talk to Michigan Radio. In fact, we did respond promptly and accurately to their detailed questions in a series of emails.
The report also implies that we had clear, actionable knowledge of similar complaints from multiple families against Jamie for the past ten years. This is not true—if we had had that kind of knowledge we would have acted on it.
Finally, the report implies that we are concealing information about other complaints that have emerged. As we said in our public statement of December 2019, we had only recently become aware of new allegations. Those raising new allegations are dealing with the appropriate child protection authorities in their area. They have asked not to disclose any information to protect the privacy of those involved. We will continue to respect their request for privacy in this matter.
The safeguarding of children is an overarching priority in our mission and programs. As a brotherhood of celibate men living in the midst of families, we know the importance of the trust placed in us and we recognize that in this case, that trust has been damaged.
If you have any questions, concerns or information you would like to convey, please contact Stuart Ferguson at email@example.com.
Chelsea, Michigan – 15 December 2019
James Wallace (Jamie) Treadwell’s membership in The Servants of the Word has been terminated. At his request, Jamie began a formal process of termination in early November 2019. The request for termination was granted and became effective on December 15, 2019. Jamie has been a member since September 1987.
His termination of membership follows a period beginning in early October 2016, when two families in Michigan raised serious concerns about Jamie with local police, alleging inappropriate relating to and/or touching their minor daughters. Jamie denied the allegations. Police investigated both complaints and no charges were filed. Just recently, previously unreported concerns of a similar nature, from prior to September 2016, were reported and have been brought to appropriate child protection agencies for their review.
Upon hearing of the allegations from 2016, we reached out to those who may have been harmed in order to listen and respond to them. The Servants of the Word immediately applied certain precautionary measures, requiring that Jamie have no contact with minors outside his own family. To the best of our knowledge, Jamie has complied with these restrictions since that time. As part of our response, we also convened an independent panel of advisors that included mental health and child protection experts to review our actions and to offer advice on the best way to proceed, and we have followed their counsel to the best of our abilities.
The Servants of the Word sincerely regret the distress which has been caused. The safeguarding of children is an overarching priority in our mission and programs. As a brotherhood of celibate men living in the midst of families, we know the importance of the trust placed in us and we recognize that in this case, that trust was damaged.
If you have any questions, concerns or information you would like to convey, please contact Stuart Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us in prayer for those who experience pain and suffering in the midst of this situation.